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Grad students honored for their research with Provost Awards

Grad students honored for their research with Provost Awards

May 7, 2020 at 10:19am

Every year FIU celebrates the accomplishments of graduate students, faculty mentors and graduate program directors by awarding Provost Awards during Graduate Student Appreciation Week.

These awards recognize outstanding grad student research and provides them with cash prizes. Usually, the awardees get to celebrate in-person during a special ceremony in which Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton and Andres Gil, dean of the University Graduate School and vice president of Research and Economic Development, present the awards.

Due to the pandemic, this year that ceremony — usually a highly anticipated and well-attended event — was canceled. But, Lidia Kos, associate dean of the University Graduate School and associate vice president of Research and Economic Development, says the contributions these students have made to university research is deeply appreciated and will continue to be celebrated, even if the ceremony itself is no longer taking place.

"The work of these graduate students is critical for the research mission of the university," Kos says. "Without these graduate students and the work their mentors do with them, we could not properly achieve our research goals.

A lot of what we do in the university is to generate new knowledge. Without the research, this generation of new knowledge, creation of patents and novel technologies, we wouldn't be fulfilling our mission."

Kos says she has one message for these students: "You are awesome. I want to tell them that we’re amazed by how incredible the research they are doing is, how much they are contributing to the local community, the university and the whole world. We recognize how amazing their contributions are."

Below are the winners for this year's Provost Awards and the name of their award.



Graduate Student Engagement

Carissa Gervasi Bloom
Earth and Environment



Outstanding Teaching Assistant

Laura Garcia Barcia
Biological Sciences




Outstanding Creative Project

Amit Kumar Sikder
Electrical & Computer Engineering 



Outstanding Paper, Non-STEM Category

Tessa Garcia-Collart
Business Administration, Marketing





  Outstanding Paper, STEM Category

Fahmida Alam
Electrical & Computer Engineering




Outstanding Mentorship

Andy Pham
Counseling, Recreation and School Psychology




Outstanding Mentorship

Valentina Bruk- Lee
ndustrial and Organizational Psychology





Outstanding Graduate Program Director

Shaoming Cheng
Public Policy & Administration



During the ceremony, another group of students are usually honored: The winners of the Scholarly Forum Presentations (students who present poster boards sharing their research). To view the list of students selected to be part of the forum this year, check out the University Graduate School website